Mesothelioma Attorneys

Mesothelioma

Asbestos Cancer

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It is a very aggressive type of cancer, and most patients die within a year of diagnosis. The symptoms of mesothelioma typically do not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. There are factors which can improve mesothelioma prognosis and survival, such as early detection.

Mesothelioma Basics

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the lining which surrounds your internal organs. In most cases, asbestos enters the body by inhalation. The most common type of mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and is called pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma can also occur in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) and the protective sac around the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers work their way into the mesothelium causing irritation and inflammation which eventually lead to cancer. As mesothelioma advances the cancer spreads to other areas of the body.

Mesothelioma Pain

Mesothelioma is an extremely painful form of cancer. Pain management is an important part of mesothelioma treatment. In patients who are in early stages of mesothelioma, who can still benefit from cancer treatments, pain management is more than a comfort and quality of life issue. Uncontrolled pain interferes with the efficacy of cancer treatment.

Patients who are no longer candidate for aggressive treatment still require palliative care which addresses the symptoms of mesothelioma and includes extensive pain management.

Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Many factors affect life expectancy after a mesothelioma diagnosis. While it is still common for patients to die within a year of diagnosis, advances in mesothelioma treatment have greatly increased the number of patients who achieve a five year survival rate.

Patients who are diagnosed and begin treatment in the earliest stage of mesothelioma have the best chance of wiping out the cancer. Age is another important factor. Older patients may not be candidates for more aggressive treatments because their bodies are too frail. The subtype of mesothelioma also affects life expectancy. People with epithelioid mesothelioma tend to live long than those with sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Detection

Mesothelioma patients and their doctors often overlook the cancer in the earliest stage because the early symptoms can be mistaken for the symptoms of other illnesses. Understanding of mesothelioma symptoms and awareness of any asbestos exposure risks which may apply to you can help you recognize the possibility of the disease so that you can tell your doctor that you need mesothelioma testing.